Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sticky Words

Annie and I had an interesting conversation the other day about how when it comes to literature, we both prefer a printed hard-copy first, then the printed word on the screen, then having something read aloud, as far as order of preference. For me, one who doesn't have inner ear problems, I don't mind being read aloud to as much, and if it's done well, there's something great about it, but generally, I prefer to read something on my own. And there's something somehow so different about reading words on a screen, when compared to the printed page.

I mention this, because I'm going to copy a short-story here for you to read. From the screen. Sorry about that, if you mind it as much as Annie and I do. Better than nothing. And this one's short and worth it. My teacher read this aloud to us (which was okay, because I like Brother Allen, and he reads aloud well) in lit class the other day, and I really enjoyed it. Thought-provoking and somehow heart-warming, in a very strange way. The short-story is an art that I adore, but always forget that I do. It's wonderful to be reminded now and then with a gem like this one. So I share it here! Enjoy!

Crazy Glue

By Etgar Keret

Published on October 04, 2001

(yoinked from LA Weekly dot com)

She said, "Don't touch that."

"What is it?" I asked.

"It's glue," she said. "Special glue. The best kind."

"What did you buy it for?"

"Because I need it," she said. "A lot of things around here need gluing."

"Nothing around here needs gluing," I said. "I wish I understood why you buy all this stuff."

"For the same reason I married you," she murmured. "To help pass the time."

I didn't want to fight, so I kept quiet, and so did she.

"Is it any good, this glue?" I asked. She showed me the picture on the box, with this guy hanging upside-down from the ceiling.

"No glue can really make a person stick like that," I said. "They just took the picture upside-down. They must have put a light fixture on the floor." I took the box from her and peered at it. "And there, look at the window. They didn't even bother to hang the blinds the other way. They're upside-down, if he's really standing on the ceiling. Look," I said again, pointing to the window. She didn't look.

"It's 8 already," I said. "I've got to run." I picked up my briefcase and kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be back pretty late. I'm working --"

"Overtime," she said. "Yes, I know."

I called Abby from the office.

"I can't make it today," I said. "I've got to get home early."

"Why?" Abby asked. "Something happen?"

"No . . . I mean, maybe. I think she suspects something."

There was a long silence. I could hear Abby's breathing on the other end.

"I don't see why you stay with her," she whispered. "You never do anything together. You don't even fight. I'll never understand it." There was a pause, and then she repeated, "I wish I understood." She was crying.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Abby. Listen, someone just came in," I lied. "I've got to hang up. I'll come over tomorrow. I promise. We'll talk about everything then."

I got home early. I said "Hi" as I walked in, but there was no reply. I went through all the rooms in the house. She wasn't in any of them. On the kitchen table I found the tube of glue, completely empty. I tried to move one of the chairs, to sit down. It didn't budge. I tried again. Not an inch. She'd glued it to the floor. The fridge wouldn't open. She'd glued it shut. I didn't understand what was happening, what would make her do such a thing. I didn't know where she was. I went into the living room to call her mother's. I couldn't lift the receiver; she'd glued that too. I kicked the table and almost broke my toe.

And then I heard her laughing. It was coming from somewhere above me. I looked up, and there she was, standing barefoot on the living-room ceiling.

I stared open-mouthed. When I found my voice I could only ask, "What the hell . . . are you out of your mind?"

She didn't answer, just smiled. Her smile seemed so natural, with her hanging upside-down like that, as if her lips were just stretching on their own by the sheer force of gravity.

"Don't worry, I'll get you down," I said, hurrying to the shelf and grabbing the largest books. I made a tower of encyclopedia volumes and clambered on top of the pile.

"This may hurt a little," I said, trying to keep my balance. She went on smiling. I pulled as hard as I could, but nothing happened. Carefully, I climbed down.

"Don't worry," I said. "I'll get the neighbors or something. I'll go next door and call for help."

"Fine," she laughed. "I'm not going anywhere."

I laughed too. She was so pretty, and so incongruous, hanging upside-down from the ceiling that way. With her long hair dangling downwards, and her breasts molded like two perfect teardrops under her white T-shirt. So pretty. I climbed back up onto the pile of books and kissed her. I felt her tongue on mine. The books tumbled out from under my feet, but I stayed floating in midair, hanging just from her lips.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Twilight Zone

Doppelganger: (German) the ghostly double of a living person; has come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person; one's living "twin."

Came across a picture of a pianist/singer named Sarah Bareilles on a friend's blog the other day. Here she is:

Which blew my mind a little bit. Wanna know why? Because I went to high school with a girl who was also a pianist/singer, named Sarah Hayes (now Plankenhorn). Here she is:

Not the same person.

Did your mind just explode a little bit? Yeah, the world is a weird place.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bragging Rights

CONFESSION: When other people post videos on their blogs, especially a lot of them, and if they aren't of their children, I usually don't watch them all. I somehow feel like I don't have the time. But then I post videos and really really really want people to watch them all! So, I'll try to be better. Watch these. All of them.

This handful of videos are all of people I have the pleasure of knowing personally, although some better than others. I am so impressed by the humor and talent and creativity of those around me, that I gotta spread the love!

First off, this is one of my best friends! This is Jordan singing an original song called "Sunday Afternoon" at BYU-Idaho's "Best of" show last week. BYU-I has a bunch of cool performance venues throughout the semester, "Nashville Nights," "Battle of the Dance," "Broadway Revue," Acoustic Cafe," etc. At each event, audience members vote for their favorite acts, and at the end of the semester, all the favorites perform. Jordan is a favorite. =)

Okay, I was wary of this at first, since the whole Prop 8 thing is pretty close to home (literally and figuratively). But this is brilliant and tasteful and well worth it, I promise. This is Ryan Simmons, a Playmill alum who has been living and working as a performer in New York for the past couple of years. He has the most impressive eyebrows and mouth of anyone I've ever met.

This one is of my friend Chris. Each week he does a "Friday Night Movie" and posts it for all his friends and followers. Of which I am one. (If you want a laugh, go through and watch the rest of his videos on youtube; they're fantastic.) This one is one of my favorites: an average day at work from his time spent in the employ of an outdoor advertising company.

And last but not least, this is a fellow who I met and befriended through my Book of Mormon class this semester. He sent me this video the other day and I think it's absolutely brilliant. I want shoes like his wicked green toxic ones. I also think this is one of the most creative short films I've ever seen.

Hope you've enjoyed! I'm trying to post the video I made for the Theatre Gala this year, but Jason Mraz ain't sharing the rights to his song that I used, so I've got to figure something else out. But that's okay, because Jason Mraz is a crazy good musician and one of the COOLEST people ever and I wish I were his friend too. My respect for him grows steadily. I'd always known he was a cool musician, but he is also super-awesome as a person and tonight I kept discovering more reasons why.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"It’s a question mark. You’re never going to have this luxury again, of not knowing. And it is a luxury not to know." --Dustin Hoffman

It's that time of year! The panic mode time of year! The finals week, final projects, cumulative exams, say good-bye to friends, don't do White Glove, pack up and maybe move time of year.

To be honest, most of those things aren't stressing me out too much. I'm feeling pretty good about my classes. I don't know if I'll quite make the 3.5 I'd been hoping for...I'll be getting a C in math but that's okay because I'll pass it and I'll get good grades in everything else. So at least a 3.0, which is cool.

Here's what IS stressing me out. Classes end on April 9th. And do I know where I will be or what I will do this summer? NOPE. I'm kind of waiting to hear back from various employers, which I don't want to close the door on just because I need to figure out housing. Even though I really do need to figure out housing. I guess it's extra-scary because I don't really have a "bed" to come home to if I need to. Not that I blame anyone for's just circumstancial. Dad and Mary live in Honduras, which costs a minimum of $800 to fly to, Mom and Ray have a little apartment with only a couch, and even at my grandparents' it would be a temporary mattress on the office floor. So there's not really even a back-up plan. Although I tell you what, if I had a car, I'd have it made. Pack a sleeping bag and a guitar and some clothes and I'd be fine until something more permanent worked out.

I also better find some kind of job soon, because I'm at my last few dollars before I'm flat broke. I can use the money I get from selling my books back to live off of for about a month if absolutely necessary, provided I don't have to pay rent and eat really badly. So whether I'm the technician Playmill, an EFY counselor, a baker at Broulims, or a bookseller at Barnes & Noble in Fremont, I kind of need it to happen soon. (P.S. I took a leap of faith, maybe for the wrong reason, financially. I've been living off of student loans this semester, which I already paid tithing on. This month, I paid tithing on the remaining meager amount, because I NEED the financial blessings, and I know that the ONLY way that I will make it, the ONLY way that mathematically I will have enough money to meet all my expenses, is by paying tithing. So I paid it. Not the highest most noble reason to pay tithing--I should be paying it because I want to give it to the Lord, but it's been a testimony-strengthening experience nonetheless!)

It's not that I'm unwilling to do any of the things that I have the options of doing. I want most to be the technician at Playmill, but there are pro's and con's to every option before me. If I'm there, I KNOW that there will be nights when I will cry in the bathroom because I'm not onstage. But if I'm not there, there will be nights that I will cry in my own bedroom because I'm not up at Playmill. If I'm in California, I'd get to be with my sister and dear friends and family. But I'll miss everyone here, and all the opportunities (workshopping Omar's musical) that I'd have up here. But maybe the Lord needs me to be an EFY counselor. Or maybe I need to be in California. Or maybe I need to be here. I don't know. That's the hard part. Not knowing. I'll do what the Lord wants me to do, I just feel sort of stuck as to what that is. And I've kind of been asking and trying to follow through and take leaps of faith, but now the ball is in other courts. In EFY hiring's court, and Roger and Heidi's court. Most notably, in that big white eternal court in heaven.

So I'm scared but willing. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this experience. Maybe that sometimes you need to just make a decision take the ball back into your own court. Or maybe it's to test and strengthen my testimony that the Lord will guide you if you let Him.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a very short journal entry. It read "I have no idea what's going on. That is the theme of 2009 so far."

That still holds true. Maybe that will last forever. Maybe you can only ever know what went on in retrospect.

But in the mean time, I'm grateful for wonderful and supportive friends, who are willing to share eggs and oatmeal and to let me talk out my decisions to them and even crash at their places in Utah if I need to. I'm grateful for a loving God and for the bounteous blessings I do have. I have so much more than so many others do. I'm grateful for the sunshine that He's blessed Rexburg with, even though it's still punctuated by periods of snow. =) I'm grateful for the awesome examples around me, for incredible people who find joy in the journey now.

And, like someone totally AWESOME and in tune with the Spirit (like all the time) reminded me today: "The Lord often comes in the fourth watch. But He always comes."